Tuesday, 31 December 2013

On Being Human

On Being Human

For a while now I’ve been considering the physical, mental and particularly emotional states in human development as people grow older.  Of course this has nothing at all to do with the fact that I have now reached ‘an age’ and by virtue of that advanced state, as in days gone by, I would be considered to be a ‘Wise One’ or other not-so-pleasant titles. :)
It's essentially these three distinct States of Being - Physical, Mental and Emotional - in which we humans deal with the process of living our lives.  Taking this into consideration, I’ve been hypothesising a lot about our human ‘States of Being’ and on reflection, there must be a powerful case for suggesting that, in essence, we are pure emotion encased temporarily in physical and mental moulds. Explore with me, if you will, why I believe this. 

There are very many verses in the Bible which deal with God’s Emotion and His Love for us. Here is another of them:
Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
We are made in the image of God and as with Him, I believe that our emotional states and emotions themselves, endure forever. If we consider the eventual collapse of our physical and, in a lot of cases our mental ability, and compare it with the enduring ability of emotion, 1 John 4:17 makes perfect sense, particularly the italicised section.
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.”

The States of Being
It's quite apparent that ageing of the Physical State is the most visually noticeable one and is obvious to the eye even when one doesn’t take into consideration genetic or other illnesses – people’s bodies age as a natural process.  One’s body gets to a point where, as willing as the mind may be to perform some task, the body is just not up-to the task.  There are always exceptions of course but this is true as a general rule.  One’s hair begins to grey or fall out and also begins to appear in the most unlikely of places – who knew that hair would find the inside of men’s ears to be so attractive a place to grow?; despite all superficial remedies known at the moment, one’s skin begins to wrinkle and develop all sorts of odd-coloured and -shaped pigmentation; then there are the more awful manifestations where cartilage and bone just doesn’t work as effectively any more, causing breaks from falls which would never even have caused a bruise earlier in life; and, instead of being able to hurl hay bales as easily as a twig as was done in youth, picking up heavy items is more likely to cause back problems than to strengthen one’s back muscles as was the case in younger days.  The list goes on. 

The ageing of the Mental State is generally not that noticeable.  This is the State in which alertness is most active up to the age of seven according to all studies which have been done in this arena.  After that, brain activity tends to slow down - it’s pretty much a downhill momentum from then and, unless a concentrated effort is made to constantly stimulate the brain, the slow-down can sometimes be complete before the end of one’s life.  This is very sad but it’s a reality with which a lot of people have to deal.  Alzheimer’s disease and senility are very real factors as one travels along the age continuum, so deliberately doing whatever is necessary to keep one’s mind active and focused is a good idea.

The ageing of the Emotional State is the state which fascinates me most.  Emotions are more potent than anything else in the human realm. 

As an example, I’ll concentrate here on the specific emotional state of what we know as ‘being in love’.  Paradoxically, this state is dependent on the other two states to a very large degree.  Although genders differ, in the early stages of life there is no discernible difference between male and female except for the different genitalia – physically both age in the same way; mentally both are like brain-sized sponges and absorb inordinate quantities of knowledge; and emotionally both begin to experience love, hate, jealousy, compassion and so forth. 

Later on, as the body grows and develops Physically, it attains puberty.  At this stage male and female become two distinctly different emotional beings and both enter into the biological awareness of the elemental reason for existence – procreation.  At this stage, Mentally, the mind discerns and targets those whom it considers likely candidates to share to fruition the culmination of procreation.   This is where the Emotional state of being in love begins to come into its own.  For a while and, until emotions settle down to a reasonable state of harmony, emotions jump up and down and in every possible direction.  This is quite normal, even if it is alarming and bewildering for young people at the time. 

Once the initial tumult of puberty is over, and everything that goes with it is aligned, the human being arrives at a time of emotional completion.  Couples fall in love for the first time, an unquestionably emotional experience, which then influences the physical and mental states until the three states conjoin.  The physical states of both parties desire and seek physical contact with each other; mentally their thoughts coincide more often and emotions cause physical manifestations such as rapidly beating hearts, stomach-wrenches and difficulty breathing, while thoughts of each other overwhelm their minds almost to the exclusion of everyone and everything else.  A simple light touch will cause the burgeoning physical, mental and emotional states to engulf them once more.  
Here’s where my fascination with the powerful Emotional State comes into its own. Unlike the Physical State, where the body ages and this is exhibited for all to see; and the Mental State which slows down as it ages and, in many cases, degrades quite severely; the Emotional State, once kindled, remains as powerful a force at the end of one’s life as it was in the beginning.   Love, that most powerful of all emotions, causes people to perform acts and services which would, if not for love, be quite unbelievable, such as the act of a person laying down his life for another (John 3:16). The Emotional State has the power to reignite the very powerful physical desires and mental thoughts attached to the emotional state each and every time a person ‘falls in love’, regardless of whether the person involved is 12 or 102.

I still have to explore this a bit more but, my initial conclusion must be that, as we are told in the Bible, Love (emotion) endures forever and is, therefore, stronger than anything else in the human experience!  There is much to support that we are indeed all Emotion, temporarily housed in fragile and transitory physical and mental states.


Saturday, 28 December 2013

I thought a thought

It's a Resolution!

As we head towards the end of 2013 and into 2014, I'm revisiting a thought I thought a while ago. It's not a new thought; nor even a unique thought but, for me, it is a thought which bears thinking about. (That sounds like something out of Winnie the Pooh).

How about a different concept where we all stop 'fighting' for a cause because, quite seriously, the 'fight' is what we'll perpetuate?  Our brains are weird that way, they recognise our mood over our intentions and if it's a fight we want, a fight is what our brain will deliver.  

I'm not saying this will be something which is easy by any means.  In fact, it will probably the the most difficult endeavour I've ever undertaken but I do believe it is worth the effort.

How about rather than joining a fight for a cause which is dear to our hearts, we work on giving daily thanks to our Lord for the outcome we want?  Such as:  

  • Being grateful that people the world over have enough food instead of fighting hunger? 
  • Being grateful that all children are safe instead of fighting child abuse?  
  • Being grateful that all people treat others with respect?
  • Being grateful that the world in our care is well looked-after instead of fighting for the environment?  
  • Being grateful that we have the most honest Government in the world instead of fighting for the necessary change? (although, I have to admit, this will be a difficult one for me). 

Although I am really going to work at Praying for Change in 2014, I think I should clarify that I don't and won't sit on my posterior doing nothing.  God requires us to be involved and make a difference where we can.  It's the wording which has become so ubiquitous that is so dangerous.  Everyone, everywhere talks about "fighting" and "struggle" for whatever they're wanting to change.  In my small life, I'm changing those words to "praying" and "expecting", that's all... 

I am actively involved in rescuing animals in distress; 
I work in my local community to improve and maintain our suburb; 
I am actively involved with my political party of preference in our district; and 
I am very environmentally aware and am a good steward of what God has put in my care although I absolutely don't and never will buy into the hypey-hopey 'climate change' religion promulgated by Gore and espoused by corrupt regimes throughout the world.

In any event, that's a concept I intend to embrace and will work on during 2014!

For now, I am grateful that our family is happy, healthy, prosperous and safe.

Have a Blessed, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.  

May your life be filled with Joy; your heart filled with Love; and your mind filled with God's Peace that passes all understanding!  

Saturday, 21 December 2013

We're liable - Lungisa Toni

I met Lungisa Toni at the company at which I work in Johannesburg, South Africa where everyone called him 'Toni' although that is his surname. Actually, he encourages the use of the name 'Toni' because he says it's an easier name for people to remember.  

Toni is a committed Christian who lives his walk with Christ in everything he does on a daily basis.  He works as a security guard and is passionate about providing service.  Sadly our company has moved to new premises and in the move, the security company which was used was changed.  This means that I will probably not be in touch with Toni anytime soon.  However, I would like to showcase this man's abundant talent.  

During the last frenetic week of our move, Toni and I chatted quite a lot and I discovered that he writes, specifically in verse.  Not only does he write, but he takes the time to engage in his world around him in a very real way and it is this engagement which forms the basis of his poetry. 

Here is one of a few of Toni's poems which I am privileged to share with you.  (English is not his first language although one would never know this).  The picture I've chosen is the cover of Ron Myers' book 'The Wholly Liable' because of the uncanny synchronicity between these two men.

We’re liable, we’re liable

 Ron Myers - The Wholly Liable
Appropriate Synchronicity
Time to become realistic has come
Accepting that we are equally liable
For all that we disapprove of around
Socially, politically and economically
For our negligence and irresponsibility
Commenting and not acting, we’re liable

Eventually we have to accept
Without dealing with our perceptions
Without minding our contributions
Towards creative mindsets and routines
Surely we are also to blame for all
Hens lay eggs, what do we do? We’re liable

This our lifetime demands our efforts
For without us there is no world and life
We are the masters of our destiny
Freedom and democracy is smart always
Only for those in civilization pursuits
We’re liable to peace and prosperity

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Forest Finery - UPDATE with The Painting by Brian Rolfe

My inspiration comes from so many sources.  This painting by artist, Brian Rolfe, inspired today's poem.

On rare occasions one stumbles upon a person whose genius is so manifest in everything he or she does that one wonders if they are truly aware of the extent of their genius. A number of months ago, I was privileged to begin following one such genius. His name is Brian Rolfe and his art is an absolute wonder to me. Every painting I've seen speaks to my very soul and I would never say that lightly.
As usual this latest painting by Brian is magnificent and was posted on his facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/artbrianrolfe). It was this painting which inspired me. I truly hope I can do it at least some little bit of justice.

Thoughts of You

He paused and listened intently for a while
To the whisper impress itself upon his thought
Still he strained to hear the forest’s call
Then absorbed the quest as he knew he aught

Shades within shadows within shades hid from him
To burst then trickle through his consciousness
As that most ancient clan of primordial trees
Sketched and drew him to within their midst

Awareness pummelled the fragments of his mind
He knew this place better than he knew his life cue
But where was it, this mirage of life’s true meaning
Which quenched his thirst to make him hunger anew?